7 Dec 2018
“I was run over by a lorry when cycling to a university lecture. When the wheel rolled back off my abdomen, I knew I was going to die if I didn’t get help very quickly.” At the time of her accident in 2007, Chloe was in her fourth year of medical school. She reflects with chilling clinical precision on what she believed might be the last minutes of her life: “I could hear sirens. I knew that my lung had collapsed and soon I wouldn’t be able to breathe. I knew that my abdomen was filling with blood. It was time critical.
“The whole time I could not stop thinking about my mum. How terrifying it will be for her. I wanted to apologise to the driver but they wouldn’t let me. I felt guilty that he would have to live with this if I died.
“When London’s Air Ambulance arrived, it was a huge relief. Until then, everyone around me was scared and no one could help. I had to be calm, and instructed the man who called 999 for me on what injuries to report. When the helicopter landed, the doctor from London’s Air Ambulance took charge, putting a drain in my chest on the roadside to enable me to breathe and keep me alive on the way to the hospital. Then they took me to The Royal London by helicopter.”
The police drove Chloe’s mum, dad and little brother from Oxford to London on blue lights. They believed Chloe might not live much longer and wanted to give her family an opportunity to say good bye. At the age of 21, Chloe might have become yet another cyclist to make the tragic headlines. Instead, she has gone on to become a doctor and is now helping to save lives at the very hospital where she was once offloaded from the charity’s helicopter, battling for her life.
In 2015, Chloe ran the London Marathon for London’s Air Ambulance. This year, she will be taking on an even bigger challenge by running "the toughest footrace on earth", the Marathon des Sables, in aid of our charity. She will be joining the London's Air Ambulance’s team, where she will run alongside Dr Tom Konig, who treated her that day 10 years ago. They will be joined by other members of our medical of our medical crew, operational staff, our CEO, supporters and her partner, David. Together, they will undertake more than 156 miles over six stages in up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
“It’s been a dream for a long time to take part in Marathon des Sables – and normally when I mention that to people they tell me it’s not a good idea – making me all the more determined.
“I really enjoy the discipline and satisfaction of progressing with training; it’s amazing what you can teach your body to do. I’m also really looking forward to getting to know my team mates better and hopefully achieving something fantastic together for London’s Air Ambulance.
“London’s Air Ambulance will inspire me to keep going – without them I wouldn’t be alive – it’s the least I can do to try to finish the race for them.”
You can donate to our Marathon des Sables team’s JustGiving by clicking here and follow their journey on Twitter @LAAinthedesert.